Investigations of responses to metal pollution in land snail populations (Cantareus aspersus and Cepaea nemoralis) from a smelter-impacted area.

Abstract : A cross-transplantation field experiment was performed to investigate about possible adaptation/acclimatization to metal pollution in common garden snail Cantareus aspersus (ex-Helix aspersa) and brown-lipped grove snail Cepaea nemoralis populations. Adults were collected from an area surrounding a former smelter (ME), highly polluted by trace metals (TMs) for decades, and from an unpolluted site (BE). Subadults of first generation (F1) were exposed in microcosms in a 28-day kinetic study. Four exposure sites were chosen around the smelter along a soil pollution gradient (vegetation and soil otherwise comparable). Bioaccumulation in snail soft tissues globally increased with soil contamination, with Cd, Pb and Zn concentrations reaching 271, 187, 5527 μg g(-1), respectively. Accumulation kinetic patterns were similar between snail species but C. nemoralis showed greater TM levels than C. aspersus. Some inter-population differences were revealed in TM accumulation (bioaccumulation factors, accumulation kinetics) but did not suggest consistent adaptive responses. We did not detect negative effects of TM exposure on snail condition (body weight, shell size, shell weight). ME C. aspersus snails produced heavier shells than BE snails under exposure to TMs at the highest level, suggesting an adaptive response. The protocol used in this study, however, did not allow unambiguously distinguishing whether this response was due to genetic adaptation or to maternal effects. Abnormal but reversible shell development of adult ME C. nemoralis suggested physiological acclimatization. Differences in responses to TMs between populations are observed for conchological parameters, not for bioaccumulation, with different strategies according to the species (acclimatization or adaptation/maternal effects).
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 9, 2010 - 12:01:39 PM
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Clémentine Fritsch, Michaël Coeurdassier, Frédéric Gimbert, Nadia Crini, Renaud Scheifler, et al.. Investigations of responses to metal pollution in land snail populations (Cantareus aspersus and Cepaea nemoralis) from a smelter-impacted area.. Ecotoxicology, Springer Verlag, 2011, 20 (4), pp.739-59. ⟨10.1007/s10646-011-0619-z⟩. ⟨hal-00490752⟩

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